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Posts Tagged ‘Annie’s Goddess dressing’

The way my day started of was strange to stay the least. I remember waking up around 1:15AM and not being able to fall back asleep. The next thing I remember is waking up on the couch as my husband was saying goodbye and leaving for work. I don’t remember a thing in between. According to my husband, I got up when his alarm went off (2 hours before mine does, hit the snooze button and headed for the living room. I’m usually a really sound sleeper and I’ve never had issues with sleep walking or talking. So strange.

I did get up and out the door for work on time. During my commute I drank a Horizon Organic milk box. I love these things! They’re delicious organic milk in convenient to-go packaging. There’s even a little telescoping straw.

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I didn’t make my batch of oats over the weekend so I’ve been eating alternative breakfasts this week. Today that meant some organic mini-waffles with maple syrup. These aren’t usually considered an easy food to transport so I’ve had to get creative. I pop my waffles in the toaster before I leave for work, put them in a container and top with maple syrup. When I get to work I just pop them in the microwave for one minute. They’re a little mushy, but that’s the way I like them.

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No picture of lunch. Sorry. I was really hungry and there were lots of people around my desk so I didn’t want to whip out the camera. It was just a can of Campbell’s Won Ton soup so you’re not missing out on anything exciting.

That brings us to the title of this post. Our benefits coordinator at work has been trying really hard to put together some healthy initiatives. One of those is a lunchtime workout. She found a program at the local hospital where an instructor comes to our building and brings equipment for a 30-minute session. We’ll be working out 2 times per week and the cost is $20 per month per person. Today was the first day and we had a good turnout. I have to admit I was a bit skeptical about how much of a workout I would actually be getting. Today gained my faith 100%. The exercises are set up circuit style and they’re mostly things that can be modified by each individual to match their own fitness level. I was surprised by how good my body felt after the 30 minutes were over. I could definitely tell that I’d just worked out. Can’t wait to do more on Friday!

I packed an apple for a post-workout snack, but didn’t feel hungry enough to eat it.

I was a bit late getting out of the office so I was pretty hungry when I got home. I forgot to put the meat for the meal I’d planned in the refrigerator to thaw so we improvised. My husband had soup & a turkey sandwich. I had leftover homemade enchiladas with reduced-fat sour cream, sliced black olives & some salsa. Not pretty, but very yummy and filling. On the side I had baby carrots and (You guessed it!) Annie’s Goddess dressing for dipping.

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I’m pooped so bedtime isn’t far off. Hope everyone had a happy Tuesday!

Does your employer do anything to encourage employees to live a healthier lifestyle? If so, what? If not, what do you wish they would do?

There are some incredible giveaways going on right now in blog land! Heather & Mark over at Hangry Pants are giving away some Almond Butter. But wait! There’s more! Bobbi from N Her Shoes is offering up a Camelbak water bottle.

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I work in the finance department of a medium-sized city. Income tax season has already begun so everyone pitches in to help with everything that goes along with this time of year. I spent almost the entire day folding letters and stuffing envelopes. Riveting work, lemme tell ya.

Overall today was a pretty good day. For starters, it’s Friday. To make that even better, it’s payday. My checks are direct deposited so the only thing I see is a pay stub. I don’t physically touch my money, but I know it’s there.

Breakfast was probably my favorite oat concoction so far. I stirred in a dollop of peanut butter and then put a plop (a scientific unit of measure) of Amish store blackberry jam right on top. That ended up being stirred in as I went, but the picture looked prettier this way:

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Lunch was something new for me. I love tofu, but I’ve never tried it as a sandwich. Why? I have no idea. It was very tasty and very filling. I put some reheated leftover Gliding Calm tofu, a slice of 2% American cheese and some dijon mustard on 2 slices of low-cal toast. This picture was before I added the 2nd piece of toast:

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One of my coworkers brought in a box of Celestial Seasonings Gingerbread Spice tea to share and, being the tea lover that I am, I was happy to accept. Unfortunately, I think it’s just seasonal. I may have to check my grocery and snag some if it’s still on the shelves because I really liked this one. It was the perfect balance of ginger and spice. One bag made two pretty strong cups.

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Snack was very refreshing. I had slices of green and yellow peppers dipped in a cup of Chi Chi’s medium salsa. I love these individual serving packs. So convenient for transporting to work.

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Shortly after I left for work I got some news that made my day even better. I won Kelly’s giveaway over at Every Gym’s Nightmare for the book The World is Fat by Barry Popkin. I’ve heard great things about this book from several sources so I’m really excited to read it. Thanks Kelly!

No dinner picture tonight. My super sweet husband made spaghetti tonight. I started to take a picture, but my camera battery was out of juice. We were both really hungry so I didn’t want to wait for it to charge. Basically what you’re missing is a pile of whole wheat spaghetti noodles with sausage sauce and a some baby carrots with Annie’s Goddess dressing for dipping. Mmmmmm. I’ve been spoiled lately. I’ll be a bit out of sorts when he goes back to working 5 (or more) days a week. This is the off season for his company so they’re working four 10-hour days and getting Friday off. That will end as soon as the warmer weather kicks in. By summer, he’ll be working 80-90 hour weeks including LOTS of Saturdays. For now, I’ll just enjoy having him around more.

After dinner we digested and then hit the gym. I had a pretty good session of walking on the treadmill, upper body & lower body. I did all my strength training in front of the mirror today. I don’t do this every time I lift weights, but I do like to do it every once in a while as a way to check my form.

No big Friday night plans for our household. My husband is watching his favorite show, Friday Night Lights, and I’m catching up on blog reading. I hope you’re all having a fabulous Friday night!

What’s your busiest time of year? Why?

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I went back to work today which was probably a mistake. The news made it sound like the roads weren’t too bad. My husband called shortly after he left to tell me that the streets were snow covered where he was, but that I’d be fine if I slowed down and took it easy.

Wrong. What normally takes an hour and a half took over two hours today. Basically my entire commute was like driving on gravel because of the ice with snow packed on top of it.. My car was shaking. I was shaking. It was loud. I thought if I just kept driving a little further it would get better. That was not the case, but by the time I decided I should probably turn around I was already halfway there. I kept pushing and eventually made it only to almost get stuck trying to pull into the parking lot.

Anyway, enough of my whining. I got to work safely and that’s really all that matters. On to my eats!

I wanted to get out the door as early as possible so I grabbed a Clif bar for breakfast. This was the first time I’ve ever had the Chocolate Chip flavor and it was good. Just enough chocolate without being overly sweet. I really like the texture of these bars. Not only are they hearty, but the consistency forces me to slow down when I eat. Here’s an after picture of the wrapper:

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Lunch was a Lean Cuisine Chicken Club panini. Not exactly the most “natural” food ever, but they have good flavor and stick with you. I don’t like to have packaged lunches like this every day. However, they do work well when you’re in a hurry and they’re better than icky fast food.
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An hour or so after lunch I was feeling anxious so I had a cup of Tazo Calm tea and did some deep breathing at my desk.
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Snack was a few Kashi TLC crackers (one of my new addictions) and a wedge of Laughing Cow Light swiss cheese.

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I worked through my lunch and got to leave at four so I could pick up the pooch and be home before dark. They’re calling for more snow tonight and I didn’t want to chance getting stuck in that if it came early. The drive was a little better than this morning. Still pretty icy and slow going.

I cooked Ranch Chicken & Potatoes in the crock pot yesterday so that we could just heat it up for a quick dinner tonight. My friend gave me this recipe and I’m not exactly certain of the original source.

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1lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 can cream of chicken soup (I use 99% fat free)
1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix (powder)
1/4 cup diced onion
20 oz. Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed & parboiled 10-15 minutes

Put all the ingredients in a slow cooker and stir together. Cook on low 4-6 hours.

On the side I had cottage cheese and a romaine & green leaf lettuce salad with a drizzle of Annie’s Goddess dressing. I won’t bore you with a picture of another of these salads. Seems like it’s becoming a trend.

I’ve had a horrible headache all day and ibuprofen isn’t touching it. Not sure what’s up. I normally don’t get headaches, but they’ve been an every other day thing for about the last week. I’ll be taking it easy this evening and probably heading to bed early again. Looks like I’ll need to be up and at ’em early again tomorrow.

I’m really excited to be participating in the Valentine’s Day Blogging Exchange! Click here for more information or to sign up. You need to do so by January 30th (which is tomorrow) so don’t wait!

What’s your “go to” lunch when you’re in a hurry to get something together?

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I’ve seen the Gliding Calm tofu earn rave reviews on so many blogs lately and today was the perfect day for me to finally give it a try. Three words: Oh. My. Gosh. So good! I had some as an early afternoon snack with dijon mustard on the side for dipping.

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Like Kath, I enjoy preparing and eating lunch at home. I typically eat at my desk during the work week so cooking is something I really look forward to when I have a day off. Today I tried something new. The original recipe is from the February 2009 issue of Real Simple magazine. I prepared it mostly as instructed and thought it was a little bland so I added my own flair. I made enough modifications that I’m sure it’s safe to post my version here. I apologize for some of the vague measurements.

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Lemony Shrimp with White Beans

(makes 4 servings)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 15.5-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed & drained
2 teaspoons dried parsley
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon(?) Old Bay seasoning
1/2 teaspoon(?) cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until melted. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.

2. Add the shrimp and cook until they are pink.

3. Stir in the beans, parsley, lemon juice, chicken broth, and all seasonings. Cook until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.

The original recipe said to serve over couscous, but I was in the mood for pasta so I plated mine over some whole wheat penne. Baby carrots standing in some Annie’s Goddess Dressing made a perfect side. Can you tell I’m a bit addicted to this dressing right now?

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After lunch I did a little laundry and put away some clean clothes. It is unbelievable how much dirty laundry two people can create. It’s a neverending battle. Laundry is probably my favorite chore so I don’t mind too much. The pup and I went back outside and played for a bit. The freezing rain started and it hurt when it hit my face so we didn’t stay out for too long. I went back inside, got comfy on the couch with a warm blanket and read for a while. Incredibly relaxing and highly enjoyable. The pup was pooped and just slept on her bed.

My husband, sister-in-law and I headed to the gym this evening for my 2nd workout of the day. We did the Plyometrics workout from the P90X DVD set that my sister-in-law borrowed from one of her coworkers. Holy smokes! It was pretty intense and I could certainly feel my muscles working. Workouts like that are awesome in my opinion. The final count was 520 calories in 58 minutes.

A shower was the first thing on my agenda when I got home. I wasn’t hungry for dinner so I just had some Kashi TLC crackers, a wedge of Laughing Cow Light swiss cheese and lots and lots of water to rehydrate.

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RIght now I’m chillin’ in my comfy fleece pajamas and watching The Biggest Loser with my husband. I don’t watch much TV, but this is one show I try not to miss.

The freezing rain is still coming down and we can hear it against the windows. It’s supposed to continue through the night and then turn back to snow early in the morning. Work tomorrow doesn’t seem too likely, but I’m not counting my chickens before they hatch. Have a great night!

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Da da. Da da da da.

(Obviously my creative energy is lacking in the post title department.)

Do you ever have those days when you don’t really feel sick, but you don’t really feel good either? Today is one of those days for me. I just feel ‘blah’ in general.

This morning I was STARVING. I related it back to my lack of appetite yesterday. I decided to start my day off with something filling. The obvious choice was oats. Today’s were topped with a stick of organic agave nectar, a few dates and some coconut. Along with that I had a cup of Celestial Seasonings Honey Vanilla Chamomile tea. I really, really have to figure out a way to make my work breakfast pictures more interesting. Same container = same photo every day.

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I didn’t prep any food over the weekend and, since it’s Monday, we didn’t have any leftovers yet. I decided to try something new that I bought at the grocery last week.Here’s what I thought!

*Product Review*
Cedarlane Low Fat Couscous & Vegetable Veggie Wrap

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At first glance it didn’t look like anything special, just an ordinary microwavable wrap. It smelled great when I took it out of the work microwave and many of my coworkers asked, “What is that?”

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The taste was even better than the smell. The wrap part was a little bland, but the filling was full of flavors and different textures. It was nice to actually taste the various spices and vegetables since I find that most “heat and eat” options just taste like salt. This is the best picture I could get of the inside:

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It really filled me up, too. The nutrition information (see photo above) wasn’t bad for a microwavable lunch option. I think it would have been even better with a little salsa and/or sour cream on the side for dipping. I still have a few wrap varieties from this brand in my freezer to try so stay tuned for more reviews.

I packed an afternoon snack, but ended up not needing it. Just not hungry. I’m not sure if it’s a credit to the fillingness (is that even a word?) of my lunch or just that my icky feeling was doing something similar to yesterday with my appetite. I drank hot tea for the entire afternoon. It was partly to settle my stomach, but mostly an attempt to keep warm in the frigid office. I think they forgot to turn the heat back on after the weekend.

Dinner tonight was one of my husband’s favorite dishes, Bubble Up Pizza Casserole. It’s super easy to make. One pound of ground beef (I use extra lean), 1 jar of pizza sauce, 1 tube refrigerated buttermilk biscuits & a cup of shredded mozzarella cheese. Brown the ground beef. Cut the biscuits into quarters. Mix everything together except the cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until biscuits are done. Top with cheese and bake for another 5 minutes. We usually replace the jar of pizza sauce with a can of plain tomato sauce seasoned to our liking. It’s really not the prettiest dish, but I took a picture anyway. I paired mine with a romaine salad topped with jalapeno peppers and chunks of yellow pepper.

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Now I’m relaxing for a bit while watching The Big Bang Theory (most underrated show ever) and How I Met Your Mother. I think I’m going to call it an early night. They’re calling for more snow overnight so I may need to be up and out the door early in the morning. Have a great evening!

Giveaway alert! Kelly over at Every Gym’s Nightmare is giving away a copy of The World is Fat by Barry Popkin. I saw this featured recently in Shape magazine and it looks like an extremely interesting read. Check it out!

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You know it’s been cold when 32* feels like a heat wave. After lunch, my boss asked me to go to the post office. He threw me his keys and told me I could take his car since he parks in the basement and I park in a free lot out in BFE. I threw the keys back and told him I’d rather walk. I was so glad I did. The sun was shining and it felt so good to be outside for longer than the time it takes to hurry from one shelter to another while trying to avoid frostbite. I took the long way back to the office since I was enjoying the change of pace and actually moving rather than sitting at my desk.
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After that I was craving water like my life depended on it. Okay, so life does depend on water. I just wanted plain, cold water which is odd considering the fact that our office is fa-reeeezing cold every day and I usually drink hot tea or hot water. Not today. I couldn’t get enough of the cold stuff and downed at least 4 or 5 water bottles in about 2 hours. I think my body is trying to tell me something. DRINK MORE WATER! I also had a yummy string cheese for my afternoon snack. The way I see it, you can really never go wrong with cheese.

After my snack I did my ritual Friday desk cleaning. When I was done with that it was 5 o’clock and I didn’t stick around a minute later. TGIF! The drive home was pretty quick and painless. I forgot my audiobook so I flipped through my favorite radio stations on the XM. I am not single and I have two beautiful rings on the appropriate finger, but for some reason I can’t resist the urge to crank Beyonce’s “All the Single Ladies” and sing at the top of my lungs every time it comes on the radio.

I arrived home to find yet ANOTHER package waiting for me on the front porch. That makes two days in a row! I knew what it was as soon as I saw the return address information, but I still ripped into it like it was a surprise. The box contained the materials for my Nutrition & Wellness Consultant certification program from American Fitness Professionals & Associates. I first saw this program mentioned on Eat. Live. Run. and came across the name again a few weeks later on Carrots ‘n’ Cake. My interest was peaked so I did some research and found only positive information about the program. I debated for a couple weeks. I’ve been looking for courses in this area a lot lately just because it’s something I’m interested in. The universities around here don’t offer much and what they do offer doesn’t work out with my full-time work and commute schedule. Obviously, my ultimate decision was to go ahead

I flipped through the materials while I was eating dinner and it made me even more excited to get started. My ultimate goal is to (obviously) get certified and be able to help other people, but after skimming the information I think there’s a lot there to help me help myself. I have until May to complete the test. I’m a perfectionist so the word “test” makes me a little nervous. Please keep your fingers crossed for me!

Oh, and about dinner. I tried a new product tonight, Gardenburger’s Chik’n Grill. I would provide a link to the product site, but it’s not listed anywhere on the Gardenburger website.
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There were a few sites that gave nutrition information for this product, but it was different than what the packaging I have says. Here’s what I have per 1 patty serving:
Calories: 80
Total Fat: 3.5g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Trans Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 380mg
Potassium: 230mg
Total Carbohydrate: 9g
Dietary Fiber: 5g
Sugars: 0g
Protein: 9g

I followed the microwave cooking instructions on my first attempt and 2 minutes 30 seconds was waaay too long. The patty shriveled up and was hard as a rock. I threw that one out and tried again, this time doing 45 seconds on one side and 30 seconds on the other. That was plenty.

Overall I thought these were really good. They have a fake grilled flavor which I found a little odd at first, but it grew on me. The texture was similar to a very tender chicken breast. I’ll definitely buy more.
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I turned mine into dinner by topping it with a slice of fresh mozzarella and a slice of tomato. Just wasn’t feeling the bread tonight. On the side I had a salad of romaine and green leaf lettuces, a few croutons, the rest of my tomato cut into chunks and a drizzle of Annie’s Goddess Dressing.
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Meghann of Inner Workings of a College Graduate is participating in something truly awesome! She’s teamed up with Team in Training and will be running a marathon in May to support The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I admire her commitment to run 26.2, but even more than that I admire her heart in making her first marathon count toward something bigger than just a personal goal. That’s why I was happy to contribute toward her effort through her donation site. The process is quick and very simple. I’d like to encourage anyone out there to give whatever you can to support the cause. No amount is too small. Also, watch Meghann’s blog for information about a blogger bakesale & her other fundraising efforts. Gooooooo Meghann!

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It was a pretty ‘meh’ day. Nothing bad happened. Nothing exciting either. Well, that is until I got home from work. More about that later. More oats for breakfast today! I topped them with blueberries & unsweetened coconut just like yesterday, but I actually had my camera today. That calls for two pictures! My tea of the morning was Tazo Awake. Typical.
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That was followed by a productive morning of work. I’m halfway through a tedious special project. Won’t be sad when this one is finished. No picture of lunch because it’s identical to yesterday. Still eating the Easy Turkey Taco Quinoa Stew. Still not tired of it. It’s made me super excited to try new recipes from GreenLiteBites.

Around 4 I indulged in one of my new obsessions discovered thanks to you bloggies, Fage. I stirred in some peanut butter almond granola and man was it good! No salmonella worries for me. This granola is homemade at the Amish store using peanut butter they also make in-house. It added just the right amount of crunch and sweet to my yogurt. I think the tea is Tazo China Green Tips though I’m not completely sure. I’d probably had about 6 cups throughout the afternoon (all different) in an attempt to combat the freezing office temperature.
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That held me through the rest of the afternoon and my commute. When I got home there was a box waiting for me on the front porch. I love, love, love getting mail and packages are like the granddaddy of all mail. I brought it inside and tore into it like a kid on Christmas morning.

Back in November I won a contest from one of my favorite sites, BellaSugar. My husband and I were flown to San Francisco and put up in the amazingly glorious W hotel for 3 days & 2 nights. As if that weren’t enough, I was treated to a relaxing trip to Bliss spa, lunch in The Rotunda at Neiman Marcus restaurant with the editors of the site and a hair consultation, cut & color at The Red Chair Salon. The highlight of the day for me was a Bare Escentuals makeover done by one of their National Makeup Artists. I started wearing Bare Escentuals about 3 years ago and have been faithful to the brand since then. It’s the only thing I can use that doesn’t make my face erupt into a minefield. They have so many great products and the quality is phenomenal.

As if the whole trip and day of pampering weren’t enough, Bare Escentuals sent me every product that they used during my makeup and a few extras. Remember by lipgloss mishap? I got two new tubes! They’re not the same color as the one I lost, but these are soon-to-be released colors and equally as fabulous. Guess what I’ll be playing with all weekend? Here’s a picture of the goods:
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After all that excitement it was off to the gym with my husband and sister-in-law. She and I decided to try Tina’s 45-minute treadmill workout. I was still a bit tender from lower body work on Wednesday and sister-in-law was feeling the P90X workout she’d done earlier in the day so we decided to try the walking version. Well, 4.5 MPH for this girl is a jog so I did some running in there, too. Sister-in-law is 5’8″ so she was able to stay at a walk the whole time. It was great! We were both working hard and very sweaty by the end. I burned 447 calories.

My husband wasn’t hungry when we got home so I just threw together a quick dinner for myself. It consisted of a chopped-up Gardenburger Portabella veggie burger, freshly shredded mozzarella cheese, a few croutons, and a tomato cut into four wedges. All this was served over a bed of romaine and green leaf lettuce tossed with a little Annie’s Goddess dressing.
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It was the perfect post-gym late dinner. I was so tired that I could barely keep my eyes open through the last bite so as soon as I was finished eating it was off to bed.

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